Restarting My Fourth Novel Pt. 1


My first week into this year’s Nanowrimo is very important to me for one gigantic, solid reason.  I am GOING to FINISH the first draft of Waltzing Matilda.

Last year was a struggle when I tried to write it.  And by struggle I mean, nigh impossible.  I thought I was prepared as I could be and I was super wrong (check out Writing My Fourth Novel Pt. 2).

But all that work from that attempt (building the timeline, character motivations, et al.) will… wait, I mean WILL pay off.  I have all the information I need… as far as I know at this moment.

Earlier this I did try working on book four but it was an even more frustrating experience than last year.  While I had written more in 2017, it was all disjointed and my brain could not make the connections work.  So I did something, I stepped away from it for many months.

This was probably the best plan, to be honest.  I got to work on a few other things, try and lock down this whole business experience, actually hang out with people and not feel like a mole man.  I had enough time to go on a trip to Ireland and actually got to get some reading done.  You see, I hadn’t read a book by someone else for a year and it was good to take my mind off of the veritable nail balanced on the table.

But as November drew nigh, I knew I needed to get back to it.  I grabbed book three and ripped through it and it was a fun experience.  I had forgotten so much that each page was almost like a new story (well except that déjà vu feeling in the back of the mind that I’d been there before).  I eagerly jumped into the notes and timeline for book four and it all made sense.  It was a tiny bit sparse here and there, but I’ve worked with literally nothing before.

I grabbed what I had written already and… it was disjointed.  Yet, I could see what sort of corrections were needed to make it click.  And that was Day 1 and Day 2 of Nanowrimo.

Here it is into the final day of week 1 and I have made progress into the middle!  Funnily enough, a lot of time is remembering character names and quirks.  It isn’t the fastest I’ve written but I don’t think it’s the slowest either.

And anyway, I have the WILL to GO and FINISH the story!

(Disclaimer: cheers and other celebrations to be set once it is completed)


Late Night Diary – October 2018

Day 1

I am feeling run down but I’m not sure why.  Hopefully I’ll get past this soon.  I have a busy month ahead of me.

Day 3

I can’t figure it out.  Every morning I wake up more exhausted than the last.  On top of that, breathing is a hassle, like it seems strained and I can’t get a full breath.

Day 6

I am so tired.  The only thing keeping me up is coffee and it’s definitely taking a toll on me.  I woke up and every inch of my body aches.  I know there is a storm front blowing in, but the body aches have never been like this before.

Day 8

Every morning is worse than the last, every breath feels more labored.  Worst of all, I have a giant bruise that runs from my left shoulder down to my left knee and I don’t know where it came from!  I haven’t left the house in the past two days and I don’t remember falling down.

Day 10

I think I almost died last night.

I don’t really know what happened but I woke up gasping for breath.  As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get any air in.  I struggled to get to the bathroom to at least see if there was something physically wrong with me to explain it.

But there was nothing wrong that I could see except for the strain of choking e on my reddened face and the tears that streaked down relentlessly.  I ended up falling on the floor and prayed that I wouldn’t die.

With the last shuddering stretch, a tiny sip of air made its way in.  I gurgled as I tried to repeat this.  Eventually, I could breathe again.  The rest of the night was spent cleaning up the spittle that had dribbled out of me and showering the fear sweat off.

Day 11

I was hoping it might be a one-time thing, but it happened again!  I am going to the doctor to see what can be done about this.  I don’t want to die on the bathroom floor!

Day 12

Another evening of almost dying while gasping for air.  I seriously feel like a fish out of water.  I did make my appointment but the Doctor wasn’t much help.  She said I might have a cold and I’ll just have to wait it out.  If this keeps happening, I don’t know if I can live long enough to wait it out.

The whiskey is helping me relax.

Day 17

How many nights has it been now?  I feel so run down, like my soul is being slowly drained from me.  Strangely, it only seems to happen at night, so I’ve taken to trying to sleep in the daytime.  This too is taking its toll on me as I still have to go to work.

Day 20

I did make it through the night without almost dying, so there is some light at the end of the tunnel.  And I am beginning to feel better, not so run down.  But I keep catching myself falling asleep in the most inopportune places.  Hopefully I won’t have to keep this up for much longer.

Day 21

Damn it, I failed.  I couldn’t make it through the early morning and woke up strangling on my own saliva.  But I saw something odd right as I woke up.  I swear I saw what looked like the shadow of a man dart into the wall mirror.  But since I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ll chalk it up to sleep deprivation.  There isn’t a realistic answer for it besides that, right?

Day 23

Good God, do I feel terrible this morning.

I saw the shadow man again.

Weird side thought, I’ve learned that if I don’t panic while I can’t breathe that the throat muscles relax I can eventually get a breath in.

Back to whatever the hell it was; it resembled a full sized, man-shaped shadow and it ran directly into the big mirror.  I don’t think I would’ve seen him if I hadn’t stopped panicking.

Day 24

Another night and it was there.  It was right against my face when I woke up choking on something cold.  I tried telling my family what I saw, but no one believes me.  Even my job told me to take the week off involuntarily.

To be honest, I didn’t react well to this and I’ve taken to drinking more.  I’ll need to curb this before it becomes a problem.

Day 25

I tried to stay up all night in the bedroom so I could see where it came from and I almost missed it.  Some sixth sense stirred me and I was able to catch sight of the shadow come out of the small mirror on the wall and move to the edge of the bed.

Its eyes!  Frosty, sparkling pits that stared hatefully at me while a sense of urgent hunger permeated the room.  It flitted past and strode through the larger mirror against the far wall.  Even though I have never been so scared in my life, I kept my eyes on it the entire time.

Day 26

I came up with a plan but it didn’t work.  I flipped the small mirror toward the wall and threw a sheet over the big one.  I figured if it couldn’t see in, it wouldn’t come in.  But I was wrong, so wrong.

Because it came anyway.  Its cold, clammy hands gripped my cheeks while its icy lips pressed against mine.  I could feel myself growing weaker as this… this demon sucked the life out of me.  I could sense its mockery as it released my face and left me fighting for breath.

I had to think of something to survive this.

Day 28

I rented a motel room across town but it still found me.  I don’t know how much more I can take of this.

Day 29

I received a notification that my job had let me go; too many sick days.  As if I missed work for something fun.  Bastards.  I got so mad I ended up shattering the bathroom mirror with an empty bottle.

Maybe this was the way to deal with it?  Smash all the mirrors so it can’t get to me?  I won’t know until the morning.

Day 30


Day 31



Life, What a Grand Adventure


Whew, what a heck of a ride.

I am super excited that I got The Matilda Season One out on Amazon and also got Nun With a Gun on other providers in these last two months.  I feel like I’m getting a solid handle on this whole thing and that makes me feel pretty darn good.

On top of that, I just got back from a trip to Ireland and we had a blast.  It’s a beautiful country and the people were quite lovely.  And while we ended up crossing the island and driving almost the entire southern coast, it was definitely a needed break before coming back to the daily grind.

On the not-so-great side, I got to bring back a new illness (I mean jeez 2018, can you please stop with that?) which I am finally getting over (and there was much rejoicing).  I also took a mighty fall due to my own stupidity and luckily escaped unbroken.  Bruised?  Yes.  Pride take a hit?  Yes.  Make everyone laugh so they had a story to tell? Also, check.

Nanowrimo is literally right around the corner and after going through my stuff, I realized I haven’t written a story of any length for over a month!  I am setting up to get the fourth Matilda story completely done for this Nanowrimo.  I haven’t succeeded at getting the first draft done during my past two attempts.

So, do I feel prepared? No. Am I going to do it anyway? Hell to the yes!

Bad Opening Moves


(image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of

Once the lecture was over, he caught sight of her leaving through the double doors that led out to the hallway.  His books jostled as he ran to catch up to her.  Out of breath he sputtered out, “Uh, excuse me?”

The young woman stopped and turned slowly, confusion evident in her eyes, “Yes?”

A light smile danced gracefully across his lips before he shifted the pile of books in his arms.  It took a moment for him to catch his breath, “Thanks for slowing down.  I… I really need to talk to you.”

Becky slid the moderately chewed pen out of her jeans pocket and twirled it slowly between her fingers, “Okay?”

He just stared at her for a split second before a pulled a folded sheet of paper free from the top book.  She watched blankly as he mouthed the words silently he read to commit them to memory.

Becky spied her friend, Amanda, coming down the hall and threw a quick wave to her.

She jerked in surprise as he suddenly began speaking in a loudly hushed tone, “I just wanted you to know that you make me feel… a certain way.  Now, I don’t know much about love.  It wasn’t something that I was brought up with.  Sadness and anger?  Sure.  Fear and doubt?  Of course.  And weirdly, duty.  But love?  No, not really.”

He was quiet as he gave that some serious thought, “And this is why I needed to talk to you.  You make me feel… odd and I find it uncomfortable.  Frankly, it’s off-putting.”

“That’s why I have resolved that I can’t see you anymore and I needed to let you know that it’s not you, it’s me.”  The young man held up his left hand like a blinder and quickly turned aside.  Then he crab-stepped away from her before disappearing down a side hallway.

“What was that about?” Amanda asked as she sidled up next to her.

Becky shrugged in response, “Got me.”

“Do you know that guy?”

She nibbled absentmindedly on the end of her pen, “Not sure.  I think we’re in the same physics class?”

Amanda smirked, “Huh.  With those moves, I would’ve figured it for biology.”

Hey life, can you give me a moment?


(image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of

These past couple months have been… ridiculous.  Between being stuck in the middle of an enormous work project that seems to have no end, me being as sick as a dog for weeks on end, I’m now fighting my laptop from trying to bite the big one.  As an added bonus, my last release did not go smoothly.

The release of The Matilda, Episode 3 was troublesome.  Everything appeared to go properly for it to only end up as a mess.  And I will give props to the Amazon tech team as they worked with me daily to get it corrected.  It took quite a few days for the whole process, but they kept me in the loop until the end.  I appreciate that quite a bit.

And I know, I know.  No one wants to hear about the job.  It’s one of those necessary parts of life that most of us have to deal with.  But you know what?  I am going to briefly mention it because this project I have been slogging through for months has completely killed my interest in looking at a computer screen by the time my workday is over.  While there is light at the end of this thing, it aint over yet.

On top of that, my very old pc is trying to give up the ghost.  It and I (me and it?) have been battling almost daily with keeping it running so I can keep doing this whole writing activity.  Those fights, along with everything else, have taken it out of me.

And lastly, I’m hip deep into my fourth week of illness and it sucks.  I ran two obstacle course races while dealing with this nonsense and it definitely robbed a lot of the fun out of them.  Luckily, I think I’m finally on the way out of this and I can’t wait!  Good God, I can’t wait.

You know what, though?  Even with all of that, I finally got this post done after struggling with everything.  And progress is progress… right?